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President Warren Sanders

BERKELEY — There aren’t 20 Senate Republicans with enough integrity to remove the most corrupt president in American history, so we’re going to have to get rid of Trump the old-fashioned way — by electing a Democrat next November 3.

That Democrat will be Warren Sanders.

Although there are differences between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, I’m putting them together for the purpose of making a simple point.

These two have most of the grassroots energy in the 2020 campaign, most of the enthusiasm, and most of the ideas critical for America’s future.

Together, they lead Biden and every other so-called moderate Democrat by a wide margin in all polls.

That’s because the real political divide in America today is establishment versus anti-establishment — the comparatively few at the top who have siphoned off much of the wealth of the nation versus everyone else whose wages and prospects have gone nowhere.

Warren and Sanders know the system is rigged and that economic and political power must be reallocated from a corporate-Wall Street elite to the vast majority.

This is why both Warren and Sanders are hated by the Democratic Party establishment.

It’s also why much of the corporate press is ignoring the enthusiasm they’re generating. And why it’s picking apart their proposals, like a wealth tax and Medicare for all, as if they were specific pieces of legislation.

And why corporate and Wall Street Democrats are mounting a campaign to make Americans believe Warren and Sanders are “too far to the left” to beat Trump, and therefore “unelectable.”

This is total rubbish. Either of them has a better chance of beating Trump than does any other Democratic candidate.

Presidential elections are determined by turnout. Over a third of eligible voters in America don’t vote. They go to the polls only if they’re motivated. And what motivates people most is a candidate who stands for average people and against power and privilege.

Average Americans know they’re getting the scraps while corporate profits are at record highs and CEOs and Wall Street executives are pocketing unprecedented pay and bonuses.

They know big money has been flooding Washington and state capitals to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy; roll back health, safety, environment, and labor protections; and allow big business to monopolize the economy, using its market power to keep prices high and wages low.

Most Americans want to elect someone who’s on their side.

In 2016, some voted for Trump because he conned them into believing he was that person.

But since elected he’s given big corporations and Wall Street everything they’ve wanted — rollbacks of health, safety, and environmental protections, plus a giant $2 trillion tax cut that’s boosted stock prices and executive pay while nothing trickled down.

Trump is still fooling millions into thinking he’s on their side, and that their problems are due to immigrants, minorities, cultural elites, and “deep state” bureaucrats rather than a system that’s rigged for the benefit of those at the top.

But some of these Trump supporters would join with other Americans and vote for a candidate in 2020 who actually took on power and privilege.

This is where Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders come in.

Their core proposals would make the system work for everyone and alter the power structure in America: Medicare for All based on a single payer rather than private for-profit corporate insurance; a Green New Deal to create millions of good jobs fighting climate change; free public higher education; universal childcare.

All financed mainly by a tax on the super-rich.

They’d also get big money out of politics and rescue democracy from the corporate and Wall Street elites who now control it.

They’re the only candidates relying on small donations rather than trolling for big handouts from corporations, Wall Street, and the wealthy — or rich enough to self-finance their own campaigns.

Only two things stand in their way.

The first is the power structure itself, which is trying to persuade Democrats that they should put up a milquetoast moderate instead.

The second is the possibility that, as the primary season heats up, supporters of Warren and Sanders will wage war on each other — taking both candidates down.

It’s true that only one of them can be the Democratic nominee. But if the backers of both Sanders and Warren eventually come together behind one of them, they’ll have the votes to take the White House, and even flip the Senate.

President Warren Sanders can then start clearing the wreckage left by Trump, and make America decent again.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at Berkeley and author of “The Common Good.” His next book, “The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It,” will be out in March. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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